We are in Moriarty, New Mexico for the night. This is 38 miles east of Albuquerque. We had hoped to get a bit farther today, but we’re doing fine. We should arrive in LA by late tomorrow afternoon.
We might have left Sherman earlier, but in our ongoing efforts at clean-up of our environs, we had a pile of metal we decided to take to the metal recycler early this morning. The name of the recycling place is “Stinky’s,” which is a fairly accurate description of our experience, especially since someone apparently decided to recycle a fridge close to where we unloaded and it was full of spoiling food. Ugh.
The interesting thing about visiting this place, besides just seeing how metal recycling works, was witnessing an encounter inside the office when I went in to collect our $82.28.
While I was standing at a desk that literally came up to my eye level (I had to stand on my tiptoes to look over it), I watched as one of the workers came into the office and started talking to an older man seated at a desk. (The man helping me was printing up my receipt.) Anyway, the worker said to the older man, “I was trying to fix something on one of the bulldozers out back when the piece just shattered in my hand. We’re going to have to get a new part before the engine will run.”
I waited, wondering how this man, who I believe must be “Mr. Stinky” was going to react to this not-so-good news.
“Did you try and turn it?” he asked.
“Yes,” the worker said. “That’s when it broke.”
“Do we have the part?”
“No, we’ll need to get it.”
I waited, steeling myself for what might be an explosive reaction. After all, the worker had broken the part and now it was going to have to replaced. Probably an expensive part, to boot.
The older man rubbed his chin. “Well, I’ll be. I’ve never heard of that happening before. No, sir, never heard of that. You go ahead and get that part.”
No voice raised. No tension. No accusations or annoyance or finger pointing. Just an “I’ll be.”
I apparently was the only person there who was surprised. His office workers were doing their jobs with calm demeanors. Mr. Stinky must be a nice man pretty much every day.
I was impressed. The dynamics in that office were calm, healthy, respectful, kind.
In a business that is stinky, messy, hot and about as unglamorous as possible, I witnessed what I can only describe as a safe, caring and positive interaction between a worker and a boss.
Stinky’s Metal Recycling will have my business for a good long time after seeing that. I want to support that level of gentlemanly civility.
I’ll check back in tomorrow. Until then, have a good night.